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    #1

    verb 'be' after the word majority, minority etc.

    I would like to know the appropriate form of the verb BE in sentences like this:

    MAJORITY of people IS/ARE trying to survive.

    According to my native language (Czech) MAJORITY is the subject and is a singular noun. Thus IS representing singular should be used.However, does the rule works in the same way in English.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: verb 'be' after the word majority, minority etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    I would like to know the appropriate form of the verb BE in sentences like this:

    MAJORITY of people IS/ARE trying to survive.

    According to my native language (Czech) MAJORITY is the subject and is a singular noun. Thus IS representing singular should be used.However, does the rule works in the same way in English.
    "People" is plural, so "people are".

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: verb 'be' after the word majority, minority etc.

    It can be either. See the following link for a good example:

    http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/majority.html

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: verb 'be' after the word majority, minority etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3m View Post
    I would like to know the appropriate form of the verb BE in sentences like this:

    MAJORITY of people IS/ARE trying to survive.

    According to my native language (Czech) MAJORITY is the subject and is a singular noun. Thus IS representing singular should be used.However, does the rule works in the same way in English.
    Technically, "majority" is the subject in English too, and it is singular. But, as we are constantly reminded here, this rule doesn't always work in English. Sometimes it's the sense of the subject (rather than the word which one would identify technically as the subject) that governs the choice of number for the verb.
    In a case like this, you have to look at "majority of people" as being the subject, and choose the appropriate verb for that.

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